Genetics and Genomics Governance Document
Interdepartmental Genetics and Genomics Governance Document .pdf (2022)
This document contains the general rules for the governance of the Interdepartmental Genetics and Genomics graduate program, referred to hereafter as simply Interdepartmental Genetics and Genomics (IGG). This document was originally approved by a vote of the Interdepartmental Genetics (IG) faculty on July 13, 1998, and then updated April 2004, February 2015 and July 2022.
Any department at Iowa State University may apply to participate in the Interdepartmental Genetics and Genomics program. Application is made by sending a memo requesting the right to participate to the IGG Supervisory Committee. Criteria for acceptance into the program are 1) presence within the department of faculty who are actively involved in genetics and genomics research and graduate training, 2) willingness of the department to “house” IGG graduate students, that is, to provide laboratory space, office or desk space, and access to departmental facilities and services, 3) willingness of the department or its faculty to provide financial support for graduate students majoring in IGG.
The right of a department to participate in IGG is retained so long as the department continues to have faculty who are members of IGG. If no faculty within a department have been members of IGG for over one year, then the membership of the department will lapse. In the event of university reorganization, departments created from existing member departments will retain membership so long as they continue to meet the criteria for acceptance. It is the responsibility of the Chair of IGG to contact the newly created departments to confirm their desire to retain membership and their intention to continue meeting the criteria for acceptance.
Participating departments as of the date of passage of this Governance Document are: Agronomy (AGRON), Animal Science (AN S), Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology (BBMB), Biomedical Sciences (BMS), Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology (EEOB), Entomology (ENT), Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN), Genetics, Development and Cell Biology (GDCB), Horticulture (HORT), Kinesiology (KIN), Natural Resource Ecology and Management (NREM), Physics (PHYS), Plant Pathology and Microbiology (PLPM), Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine (VMPM), and Veterinary Clinical Sciences (VCS).
To be awarded a degree in Genetics and Genomics, a student’s major professor must be a formally elected member of Interdepartmental Genetics and Genomics (IGG). Any faculty member at Iowa State University who is actively involved in genetics and genomics research and graduate training and who is a member of a participating department may apply for membership in IGG.
Prospective faculty should submit applications to the Supervisory Committee, which will recommend actions to be taken to the IGG faculty at large. Information to be contained in the application and recommended standards for acceptance will be established by the Supervisory Committee. Acceptance or renewal of membership will be determined by a vote of the IGG membership.
Chair and Associate Chair
All activities of the Interdepartmental Genetics and Genomics program will be coordinated by a Chair elected by the IGG faculty. The term of office for the Chair is three years. The Chair’s responsibilities include carrying out existing program policies, suggesting new policies, administering the budget, serving as a liaison with higher administration and coordinating the efforts of IGG committees.
The Chair’s responsibilities may be changed at any time at the discretion of the Supervisory Committee. The Chair may also assign responsibilities to other IGG Committees, the Associate Chair, faculty or staff; in this instance, however, the Chair will assume responsibility for assuring that the tasks are performed satisfactorily.
Before assuming office, the Chair will normally have served three years as Associate Chair. The duties of the Associate Chair are to share in administrative duties, as assigned by the active Chair. This will relieve the Chair of some duties, provide training for the Associate Chair, and provide more administrative continuity to the program.
The IGG Associate Chair and Chair must be members of IGG. Elections for Associate Chair (future Chair) will be held every two years and will be administered by the Supervisory Committee. Nominations will be solicited from the IGG membership and nominees willing to serve will be voted upon by the membership. Elections should be held by May 15; terms will start on July 1.
A Supervisory Committee will be responsible for review of all aspects of the program, for guiding the establishment of policy, for interpreting and implementing policies that have been established by the IGG membership, and for advising the Chair.
In all decisions, each member, including the Chair, will have one vote. In case of disagreements between the Supervisory Committee and the Chair, the Supervisory Committee will have final authority. In the case of disagreements between the Supervisory Committee and the faculty, the faculty view, as determined by referenda, shall prevail.
The Supervisory Committee shall consist of six voting faculty of IGG, including the Chair and Associate Chair. Members should be selected to provide broad representation from participating departments and representation of all major aspects of our curriculum (such as molecular, transmission, and quantitative/population/evolutionary genetics). This is to help ensure the breadth necessary to be a truly interdisciplinary program.
Supervisory Committee members (excluding the Chair and Associate Chair) will serve for four years. One member of this committee will be replaced every year. Members may be re-elected to consecutive terms. The Supervisory Committee will be elected by the IGG faculty. Elections will be held before May 15 and will be administered by the Supervisory Committee. Nominations will be solicited from the IGG membership, with specific emphasis on ensuring that the nominees fulfill IGG’s commitment to broad representation. Nominees willing to serve will be voted upon by the IGG membership. Terms will start on July 1. The Supervisory Committee may appoint an IGG member on a temporary basis (until the next scheduled election) to complete any unfinished term of a Committee member or Associate Chair, or to substitute for a Committee member or Associate Chair on leave.
All Principal Investigators (PI) or Program Directors (PD) on all training grants obtained for the purpose of supplying stipends for majors in IGG will serve as non-voting members of the Supervisory Committee. Ex-Chairs will serve as non-voting members for one year after the completion of their terms. To ensure good communication between the Chair and the Supervisory Committee, the Supervisory Committee should meet monthly, preferably at a regularly scheduled time. It is the responsibility of the Chair to call the meetings; if the Chair is not available, meetings may be called by the Associate Chair.
Committees of IGG Faculty will be established as needed to perform tasks and advise the Chair on matters such as student admissions, curriculum, academic standards and faculty membership. Members will be appointed by the Chair. The number, membership, and responsibilities of the committees may be modified at any time at the discretion of the Chair. In cases of disagreement between a Committee and the Chair, the Chair will have final authority.
Full faculty meetings should be held twice per year to update faculty on IGG activities and to discuss issues of importance to the group. It is the responsibility of the Chair to call the meetings; if the Chair is not available, the meetings may be called by the Associate Chair.
Elections and Referenda
Except as noted below in the sections on ‘Establishment of Policies’ and ‘Changes in the Governance Document’, all elections and referenda will be determined by a majority vote of the IGG membership who respond to the call for votes. At least 50% of the membership must vote for an election or referendum to be valid.
Establishment of Policies
All policies modifying core-course requirements and major changes in genetics core-course content must be approved by a majority of the total IGG membership. All other policies may be established by a vote of the Supervisory Committee. However, the Supervisory Committee should consult with the faculty when making significant policy decisions and should hold referenda for policy changes likely to be controversial. In addition, all policy decisions by the Supervisory Committee must be announced to the faculty; if three or more faculty object to a policy, a referendum must be held to determine its acceptance or rejection.
Changes in the Governance Document
Policies contained within this Governance Document may be changed by a majority vote of the total IGG membership.